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ALCS Bound: Pitching Staff + Peña Carry Astros

Houston’s pitching staff tossed 18 scoreless innings, and Jeremy Peña drove in the only run of the game.

Division Series - Houston Astros v Seattle Mariners - Game Three Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images


The Houston Astros defeated the Seattle Mariners by a 1-0 final score in 18 innings.

The victory was Houston’s third in their best-of-five series to qualify for the ALCS. By going into the 18th inning still scoreless, the two clubs broke a record that was....a week old. The Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Guardians took a scoreless tie into the 15th frame on October 8th.

Game three of Houston’s ALDS with the Seattle Mariners was a good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, initially between George Kirby and Lance McCullers. Through six innings, each had allowed four baserunners. Kirby allowed four hits, McCullers two hits and two walks.

Then the relievers started to come in for the starters. Héctor Neris, Rafael Montero, and Ryan Pressly for the Astros, Andrés Munóz, Diego Castillo, and Matt Brash for the Mariners. The two clubs continued to trade zeroes through all nine regulation innings.

The 10th inning opened without the “ghost” runner that we’ve become used to this season, you had to realize that the Mariners were going to throw everything but the kitchen sink at the Astros. With their backs to the wall, no pitcher was off limits. After Brash pitched the 10th, Paul Sewald came in for the 11th and 12th. Bryan Abreu pitched the 10th for the Astros, Ryne Stanek the 11th, and Hunter Brown the 12th. The score remained locked at zero until the 13th inning.

Erik Swanson got through the 13th for Seattle, Brown for Houston. Matthew Festa came in for the 14th and 15th, and Houston put in starter Luis Garcia for two innings as well.

Garcia continued to pitch into the 16th for the Astros, then the 17th, while Seattle brought in Penn Murfee. Jeremy Peña broke the game open in the 18th with a lead off solo home run into center field to make it 1-0.

Garcia stayed in to pitch the 18th inning, earning the victory. The win sends the Astros to the ALCS for a record sixth season in a row.

My EKG for this 18 inning game, courtesy of Fangraphs.
  • Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel led Houston’s offense with three hits apiece.
  • Kyle Tucker was the only other player to collect multiple hits, with a pair of singles.
  • McCullers whiffed seven over six two hit innings.
  • Neris struck out two over a hitless inning.
  • Montero struck out a pair and gave up a hit in his inning.
  • Pressly struck out one and allowed a hit in one inning.
  • Abreu struck out two over a hitless inning.
  • Stanek struck out one over one hitless inning.
  • Brown gave up a hit and a walk, but no runs over two frames.
  • Garcia struck out six over five two-hit innings.
  • Based on their current rate of playoff participation, the Mariners will be back in postseason action in 2043.

Houston will be back in action on Wednesday against the winner of the Yankees/Guardians series.